GAA Football

Ulster champions Donegal and Kerry best placed to end Dublin dominance says Colm O'Rourke

Injury to Eoghan Ban Gallagher was a massive blow to Donegal in 2019. Picture Seamus Loughran.
Andy Watters

DONEGAL and Kerry are the two counties most likely to end Dublin's record-breaking All-Ireland-winning run says Colm O'Rourke.

But the Meath native, who was inducted into the GAA's Hall of Fame yesterday, warned that only splitting Dublin would end the county's dominance.

“Kerry are still a good bit behind,” he said.

“Obviously they drew the first match but I always said that if Dublin had 15 men for the whole game they would have won the match. They were in control when (Jonny) Cooper was sent off.

“The race for second place is the race to be a bit behind Dublin at the moment. Kerry are the team who would have the best chance of toppling them. They are the team. But they still need three, four, five players.”

After Kerry come Declan Bonner's Donegal says O'Rourke. The Tir Chonaill men failed to make this year's semi-finals but O'Rourke says that luck with injuries could change that next year.

“I thought Donegal this year were going to be the next best thing because they are a big, athletic team in the Dublin mould, even if it's ‘Dublin-lite' kind of thing,” he said.

“But I thought they had quality. If Eoghan Ban Gallagher didn't get injured, he would have been a big help to them. Ciaran Gillespie has had injury problems, he is a good player too. If the two of them are back then Donegal are a team… They're young, have a lot of quality about them. Donegal are a team I like a lot.”

Meanwhile, the introduction of a new two-tier All-Ireland Championship would have O'Rourke's backing but he would like to see the current provincial Championship system done away with.

“I'd be very happy with a two-tier, a three-tier system but for me a big problem is the provincial championships,” he said.

“I'd like a radical transformation of the whole system and get rid of the provincial systems.

“I don't think they are doing anything for Leinster or Munster where you have Kerry and Dublin dominating almost for the last 130 years. To me that needs to change.”

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